Mark Williams: On the prowl for criminals

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LAST year, more than 6000 people across the city took the time to let us know what they wanted from their local police. This month I want to let you know what we are doing following your comments and how we are using all our available resources to target criminals across the city.

As a result of your feedback we have launched Operation Wolf, aimed at hunting down known criminals and making sure we respond to the issues that matter to you. Although it has only been running for three weeks, there have been some fantastic results already. We have visited 185 licensed premises and, using stop and search tactics, arrested 30 criminals for possession of drugs. We have targeted serious organised crime groups and on Monday of last week recovered over £36,000 worth of illicit and counterfeit goods. We are hunting down violent criminals on a daily basis and have arrested 21 who were wanted on warrant. I want you to know that my officers and staff are absolutely committed to supporting local policing and listening to local people. We won’t tolerate criminals in the community and neither should you. If you have any information whatsoever that you wish to confidentially share with us remember you can use Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Last year there was a lot of comment and publicity about the police response to housebreaking. In previous columns I have assured you of our commitment to targeting housebreakers and I am delighted to say over the last few months we have made real inroads tackling this particularly personal and distressing crime. Since April 1, the number of homes broken into across Edinburgh has reduced by over 37 per cent compared with last year and we are detecting 50 per cent more than last year. Put together this illustrates our determination to target those responsible and drive down the number of housebreakers across the capital.

In closing, I would like to touch on the subject of road safety. My officers and staff are committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads. Sadly, there are still too many fatalities but we are working very closely with our partners at Edinburgh City Council and other agencies to educate all road users, including pedestrians, to prevent accidents whenever possible. As a related issue, there has been a recent upsurge in the number of kids riding stolen motorbikes in the east and north of the city. 
I want to assure you all that we are doing all we can to stop this happening and divert those responsible away from this incredibly dangerous activity. If you have any information regarding those responsible please let us know and we will work with our partners to tackle this problem.